Bristol II: Mark Martin preview

Martin, No. 6 Team on a Roll Heading into Bristol Martin and the Viagra Racing team move into Bristol fresh off of a second-place run at Michigan. Martin, who had probably the fastest car in the Michigan race, has scored top-three finishes in ...

Martin, No. 6 Team on a Roll Heading into Bristol

Martin and the Viagra Racing team move into Bristol fresh off of a second-place run at Michigan. Martin, who had probably the fastest car in the Michigan race, has scored top-three finishes in three of the last four races. He has climbed from 123 points out of 10th place to only 33 points out in the last two races.

Chassis Number: (RK-215) - The team will run RK-215 Bristol this weekend. It is the same car that the team used earlier this year at Bristol. The car scored a 10th place finish in the All-Star Challenge in its only other run of the season, despite sustaining severe damage late in the race.

IN THE POINTS - MOVING ON UP

Martin's second-place run at Michigan moved him to within 33 points of the Nextel Cup top 10. Martin was 123 points outside of 10th place going into last week's race. He has trimmed 90 points off of 10th place in the last two races.

MARTIN AT BRISTOL

Martin's trek at Bristol is tale of streaks. In 35 races at Bristol, Martin has finished top 10 on 20 occasions and inside the top five 15 times. From 1995-2000 Martin had a total of 10 straight top-10 finishes at Bristol. He won four straight poles in 1995 and 1996. However, Martin has not finished inside the top 10 at Bristol in the past eight races, five of which he was involved in accidents that put an end to his chance of a strong run. Martin finished 23rd this spring at Bristol, after dropping down to seven cylinders late in the race.

GETTING OFF TO A GOOD START AT BRISTOL

Martin's seven poles at Bristol ties for the most of any driver (Rusty Wallace). Martin just narrowly missed his record eighth pole there last year at the Sharpie 500. All-in-all Martin has started inside the top five in 16 of 35 races at Bristol and inside the top 10 25 times.

WHITE LIGHTENING RETURNS

Martin will once again run the special 'reverse' white paint scheme this weekend at Bristol. Martin has run the night race scheme in five races this year (counting the All-Star), recording top-10 finishes on four of the five occasions, including a victory at Dover. In addition to Bristol, the scheme will run three more times this season at Fontana, Richmond and Charlotte.

QUOTING MARK AND PAT ON BRISTOL

"Well, Bristol is an intense race track to say the least. Forty-three cars is a lot for a track that size, and driving around that place is like trying to fly a jet fighter airplane around the inside of a basketball arena, so it's get really wild when you have 42 other guys trying to do the same thing. You just have to hope that you have a good car and that you can stay out of all the trouble and sometimes that's hoping for a lot. We haven't been able to stay out of trouble very well there the last several times we've been there and we've wrecked a bunch of cars. We were really strong there last year in the night race and we ended up getting wrecked, so maybe we'll have a little better luck this time. I know Pat (Tryson) and Wally (Brown) and the guys will all give me a great race car, so hopefully we can take it to the front and stay there."

PAT TRYSON

"One of the keys to Bristol is to qualify well, or it's really easy to lose a lap early. You also want to be as close to the front as possible to try and stay out of a lot of the trouble that goes on back there. Hopefully we can give Mark another good car and we can have a solid day and stay out of trouble. If we do that I think we can have a good run. We tested there a couple of weeks ago, and we liked what we saw. We just can't wait to get back out there and hopefully make a run for the victory."

Mark Martin Fast Facts * BRISTOL


* Martin has two victories at Bristol (8/98 and 8/93 both coming from the pole).
* Martin's seven poles at Bristol tie for the most ever. He just narrowly missed the pole at last year's fall race..
* Martin won four consecutive poles at Bristol in 1995-96.
* Martin has posted 20 top -10 and 15 top-five finishes in 35 races at Bristol.
* From 1995-2000 Martin scored 10 straight top-10 finishes at Bristol, but a rash of accidents and problems have prevented him from finishing inside the top 10 since.
* Crew chief Pat Tryson led the Wood Brothers to a victory at Bristol in 2001. Tryson's pit strategy was vital in the No. 21 car's victory there as Tryson earned his first career Cup victory.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rusty Wallace , Mark Martin